Dr David Curry
As mothers around the world celebrate Mother's Day with flowers and homemade gifts from their children, there is a community of 200 mothers who do not know the fate of their daughters.
Events this past week in Yemen have raised new questions from policy makers and pundits on the reach of extremists in the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula. Complicating the situation is that, as in past situations in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Iraq, there is a muddled political response from the West that makes the situation hard to understand.
Christians all over the world will celebrate Christmas—the birth of Jesus, who came to save the world through His redemptive work on the cross. But the way that Christians celebrate Christmas looks very different in various parts of the world.
In June and July of 2013, Tahrir Square became a place where history was made. This Cairo, Egypt landmark housed the largest outpouring of protest against the radical Jihadist agenda in the Middle East, with estimates of over 20 million people protesting the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Just a few months ago, I visited Tiananmen Square. It is a place where, 25 years ago, a lone protestor stood in front of a tank—an image that captured the imagination of the world—to protest the suppression of freedom in China. It was a powerful illustration of the power of social movements. In January 2014, I stood in Tahir Square in Cairo on the eve of Egyptians voting on a new constitution.
Last week's presidential speech on the crisis in Iraq and Syria highlighted that we are entering a battle, albeit from a distance, following the gruesome murder of two American journalists (and, more recently, a British aid worker). These murders are particularly shocking to the Western mind — how could anyone do something so gruesome?
Within the last few weeks we have seen a rounding up of Christians in Mosul by ISIS, a radical jihadist group, forcing over 3,000 households to choose between death, conversion to Islam or registering and paying a tax that equals a yearly salary. Most Christians fled to northern areas of Iraq.
In less than two weeks Iraq went from a semi-functioning democracy to a land divided into regional factions ruled in many areas by the extremist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is imposing Sharia law after driving Christians out of Mosul and other cities in Iraq.
Faith communities and churches around the world have long supported care to refugees affected by war and famine, but what will happen now that more and more of the Christians are themselves refugees?
Two-hundred and thirty Nigerian girls, mostly Christians ages 16-20, were kidnapped from a boarding school in the northeastern village of Chobok by members of the Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram on the night of April 21. Approximately 200 girls are still missing.